Hozier - Take Me To Church
Start off your summer with some new tunes!
The Donkeys album Ride the Black Wave is the perfect poolside and beach tide companion for Summer 2014.
One of my favorite local bands, The Donkeys, released their latest album, Ride the Black Wave, this past week. This is the band’s fourth studio album that they have put out since forming in 2004, and you can tell they put a lot of work into it. Their new album, released under their current label, Dead Oceans, brings a new, softer sound to the band’s signature surf vibes, funky guitar riffs and hypnotizing choruses. The band’s other three albums (The Donkeys 2004, Living on the Other Side 2008 and Born with Stripes 2011) have fostered a unique sound for the band that ties in mellow classic rock sounds reminiscent of The Grateful Dead, The Byrds, The Beach Boys and another contemporary beachy band, The Allah-Las and mixing in a wide range of instrumentals and vocal harmonies that really encapsulate the talent of this soulful band.
The group, consisting of four friends Anthony Lukens, Timothy DeNardo, Jessie Gulati, and Sam Sprague, was excited to debut some of their new tunes at their record release party last Friday, June, 6th at The Soda Bar. While I was unable to make it to the show, I got their album right away and haven’t been able to stop listening to it since. This album is definitely shaping up to be my summer soundtrack. I’ll admit, upon playing it through the first time, I could only recognize a few tracks that stood out to me as distinctly Donkeys sounding, but the more I listened, the more I could identify with the new sounds.
This album features 11 new tracks showcasing a much calmer, mellow 60s sound, but still packs in the signature Donkeys sound of psychedelic beach vibes and funky instrumentals, including sitars and tambourines, catchy lyrics and simply great music. The opening track, “Sunny Daze”, sets the mood for the rest of the album and is among my favorite tracks. The titled track “Ride the Black Wave” is another one of my favorites. The track mirrors a wave, rising and falling in sound and instrumentals, like a wave, and building steadily to a charging chorus then crashing down to the rest of the track. “Imperial Beach” sounds more closely to the band’s previous album, Born With Stripes, featuring the groovy, middle-eastern instrumentals of sitars and twangy percussion and is an instrumentals only track. The previous song, “Scissor Me Cigs” is the one song I can’t get out of my head. The lyrics are ridiculously catchy and the backing music is so soothing, I find my head calmly bobbing along to this song in the car or even laying out by the pool.
The album ends with some very summery sounding tunes, “Brown Eyed Lady”, “Blues in the Afternoon” “Bahamas” and “Shines”, that wrap up all of the tracks in a perfect tropical sounding splash of harmonies and islandy instrumentals that transport you to a happy vacation state of mind, regardless of what your summer plans are. Definitely check out their album, available on iTunes, and give the band a listen if you haven’t heard of them before. You won’t be disappointed, and your summertime playlists will thank you for this addition!
1. Sunny Daze
2. The Manx
4. I Heart Alabama
5. Scissor Me Cigs
6. Imperial Beach
7. Ride The Black Wave
8. Brown Eyed Lady
9. Blues in the Afternoon
Recommended if you like: The Grateful Dead, Allah-Las, Ty Segall, The Temples, The Byrds
The Donkeys playing in San Diego tomorrow night! Don’t miss out, they will be releasing their new album too!
Brian Jonestown Massacre was a win at the Wiltern!
Brian Jonestown Massacre brought out some of their best hits in a killer performance this weekend at the Wiltern, in Los Angeles, showing they’re more than ready for their European tour and new album to release.
With their new album, Revelation, set to release next week on the 19th, Brian Jonestown Massacre showed they they’ve still got an immense amount of raw talent and an ever growing range of psychedelic tunes and feel good music to share with fans, even after 26 years. Despite decades of band drama, drug use, changing members and trying to manage success without going down a diluted path towards mainstream music, the San Francisco based band has managed to keep producing amazing music and delivering unforgettable live shows.
Saturday night’s show at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles was ridiculously good. While it took some time for the band to take the stage after two opening acts, The Three O’Clock and Joel Gion & the Primary Colours (a spin off project started by Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Joel Gion), their performance was well worth the wait! And the Wiltern is definitely a venue I don’t mind lingering around in. Built in the 1930’s, The Los Angeles art deco theatre is one of my favorites with beautifully ornate walls and ceiling decorations, an extremely open floor section and a rad multi level lounge and bar area. The stage area itself gives audience members a choice of how close to the action they want to be, and a great view and amazing sound is guaranteed from wherever you are in the theatre. Though, there’s obviously more room to get your dance on in the back, and with a band like BJM, you definitely want space to feel the music.
The band came out strong and excited as the 8 current band members took the stage amidst red and blue spot lights. Lead singer and notoriously outrageous frontman Anton Newcombe and founding members Matt Hollywood and Ricky Maymi both on guitar were joined by longtime members Joel Gion on tambourine, Dan Allaire playing drums, keyboardist and guitarist Rob Campanella, guitarist Frankie Emerson and Collin Hegna on bass. It’s no wonder the band delivers such a rich and developing sound given their large range of instrumentals and many guitar styles all playing in the cohesive magic that is Brian Jonestown Massacre. They cover the basis of psychedelic rock and mix in elements of punk, blues, folk rock, and even some raga in their widely impressive discography of 12 (going on 13) studio albums, 7 EPs, live albums and several compilations.
The band delivered an ongoing set that got better with each song. While frontman and founder Anton Newcombe (who has worked with The Dandy Warhols) is known for his outrageous stage behavior ranging from audience altercations, spats with his band mates, getting upset at song requests and onstage drug use, this was not the case on Saturday and the only thing that hit the audience was a wave of excitement, passion and dancing with every song.
Sampling some music from their upcoming album and playing some of their classic hits alike, audience members got to dance their hearts out to some of the best gritty and groovy psychedelic music that’s still around today. I was in awe watching a stage full of incredible musicians, each bringing their own presence and key elements to the sound. The tambourines and several guitars complimented the vocals and powerful percussion perfectly.
The band’s great sound was brought to the next level with the visual accompaniment of smoky fog and lights. An alluring light show captivated the audience as we fell into a trance listening to the music. While I was stoked to be seeing the band and enjoying their new music, I was so excited to hear familiar chords to some of my favorite songs, “Who?”, “Anemone”, “Prozac vs. Heroin”, and “Servo.”
BJM got things started with a fun one and the crowd fed off the energy beaming from the band on their catchy hit “Who?”, singing along with Newcombe during the chorus and jumping up down with the rising and falling vocals. The band brought up vocalist Miranda Lee Richards to sing the female vocals on “Anemone.” Richards did an amazing job captivating the crowd with her hypnotic and practically majestic sounding voice lulling everyone into the scene. Richards was definitely comparable to the original female vocalist, Mara Keagle, who sang with the band on the recording of the song and toured with them for several years. "Prozac vs. Heroine" left an ironically calming affect on the crowd that swayed along to the music and one of the songs towards the closing of BJM’s set was another one of my favorites, "Servo." The lyrics to the song were a perfect command for everyone on their way out to "let yourself go and have some fun." Which I definitely did and am sure the rest of the fans did too.
The band is back in Europe now, playing shows in France before continuing on with the rest of their European tour. I’m looking forward to an American return, whenever that may be, but until then, their new album out May 19th will have to suffice!
Brian Jonestown Massacre - “Feel So Good”
Getting stoked to see these guys at The Wiltern this Saturday!
The San Francisco band is bringing their psychedelic vibes and sexy 60’s sound down the coast, playing in Orange County last night and Los Angeles this weekend, before hopping the pond and continuing their tour in France.
Shakin’ All Over for the Shaky Knees Lineup!
Alabama Shakes, The National, Modest Mouse and many more make their way down south May 9th, 10th and 11th!
I’m always excited to hear about, and get to attend, a new music festival. Last year I hit up the first Bottle Rock Music Festival in Napa, CA for a great day of food and music. I got to see the Allah-Las, Alabama Shakes, The Shins and Flaming Lips up close and personal without any conflicting schedule times or unruly crowds. In June, I swapped my annual August Outside Lands adventure for a wild run in the south attending Bonnaroo for the first time and had such a blast seeing bands like Lord Huron, and Portugal. The Man.
This year, I was hoping to make it to another southern fest, Shaky Knees, but will sadly be studying for finals. Still, that doesn’t stop me from gushing over the line-up (including artists who performed at both Bottle Rock and Bonnaroo 2013 and even Coachella 2014) and sending my mom to tell me how it goes. This weekend Shaky Knees in Atlanta, Georgia transforms Atlantic Station for a three-day music fest.
Headliners include Alabama Shakes, The National, Modest Mouse, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Spoon, Portugal. The Man, Cold War Kids and Iron & Wine among others, but the line-up’s magic only starts there. As I was going through each day suggesting shows for my family to see I found myself praising nearly every artist!
Friday afternoon features one of my favorite brother-sister duos, Wild Belle. Their sound ties together parts of the electronic and elemental world with natural drums building rhythms on wood and metal as well as synthesized pop sounds. Band of Skulls plays soon after and two Coachella 2014 artists, Cage the Elephant and Graveyard will be playing at 7pm. Spoon and The National round out the night, and I’d say The National is the one band of my Friday picks that I haven’t seen and am dying to! The National is an American indie-rock band that has been going strong for 14 years. These guys pull out some serious emotion in their lyrics and soothing vocals as well as slow, deep and entrancing instrumentals. While their music isn’t necessarily the most uplifting, it’s definitely engaging and thoughtful and feel-good on a different level.
Saturday keeps the collection of amazing artists going with Lord Huron, Dawes, Portugal. The Man, Cold War Kids, and Modest Mouse. I love Lord Huron. Ever since I heard them on Pandora and saw them at Coachella 2013 and Bonnaroo 2103, I couldn’t get enough of this Los Angeles band that exudes joy and energy with their majestic rainforest sounds and beautifully harmonized vocals. Dawes is a super mellow group that are a little folksy a little gritty and a lot of fun. Festivalgoers will have to choose between two American rock bands, Portugal. The Man and Cold War Kids at 7pm but there’s no contest when it gets to the night’s headliner, Modest Mouse. With such a dense discography and so many amazing song for the band to choose from, it’s hard to tell if you’ll get to hear your favorite obscure and clever lyrics or not, but one guarantee is an amazing show, regardless of the set.
Sunday wraps things up with Mason Jennings, Deer Tick, Iron & Wine, Kopecky Family Band, Edward Sharpe, Violent Femmes, and Alabama Shakes. Iron & Wine is definitely one of the most impressive acts I can think of. If you haven’t seen Samuel Beam before you probably thought there were several people putting together the wide range of instrumental sounds and the beautiful voice of Iron & Wine, but it’s just one guy! On the other hand, Kopecky Family Band really is a crew full of folksy music lovers putting out some of my favorite music right now. The depth that comes from layering both male and female vocals, as well as an array of instruments including tambourines, horns and guitars, is so spot on with this southern rock band hailing from Nashville, TN. They have their more upbeat rock based songs such as “Heartbeat” and “Are You Listening?” but also have a more mellow and soft folk side. Another southern group, Alabama Shakes, thrives in a large festival setting bringing forth a lot of energy and resounding vocals to close the festival.
Shaky Knees will also be having “late night” shows where some of the same artists perform additional sets after hours, so if you can’t get enough of them the first time around, or have to choose between two of your favorites, check out the “late night” line-up to see who is taking the stage later on.
COACHELLA 2014 WEEKEND TWO
While the weekend may be over, the memories and musical vibes from Coachella 2014 aren’t going anywhere. Three days of amazing artists, people and effervescent energy all together in one place keeps Coachella on a level of it’s own, and this past weekend was another one for the books.
Lit up by the hot sun and the contagious smiles of festival goers, Indio’s Empire Polo Club geared up for its second weekend of the legendary music festival. Fresh off the hype and excitement from weekend one, Friday came in with a bang. Jagwar Ma, Grouplove, Ellie Goulding and Broken Bells were some of my favorites leading up to OutKast’s headlining act that night.
Jagwar Ma’s electric tribal beats were exactly what I was expecting. They had the crowd in Gobi tent in a collective trance-like sway with tracks like “What Love” building up the beat and the crowd’s energy at the same time. Seamlessly transitioning from song to song, the end of their set seemed like one great progressing track leaving listeners with the perfect head bob to carry on around the festival and to their next shows.
I made my way to main stage to see Grouplove, whose crowd was enormously larger than their debut at the festival two years ago. It is always fun to go back to an artist from years before and remember when they nervously took the stage and thanked people for coming out to hear them, and now see how far they have come. While they still made sure to play their catalyzing hit “Tongue Tied,” Grouplove now had fans singing along to nearly every word of every song. It’s in crowds like this that you can’t help but feel excited and have an amazing time, which is exactly what happened when Ellie Goulding came on after.
Goulding’s performance was one of my favorites from Friday, and the entire festival. The sun may have been setting, but the crowd’s energy was at an all time high. She took the stage showcasing both her beautiful voice and personality. Clearly excited and humbled to be playing for such a large and excited crowd, she exceeded my expectations. She covered the basis of her hits “Lights”, “Starry Eyed” and “I Need Your Love” and did a really passionate and charged performance of “Anything Could Happen.” She worked the stage, asking the crowd to excuse her “dorky” dance moves and cast such a happy mood on everyone as we all danced and watched the orange sky dim and cast silhouettes of the beautiful mountains.
As I headed over to the Outdoor Stage for Broken Bells, I heard the chords to my favorite track “The Mall & Misery.” Lead singer James Mercer (front man for The Shins) projected his alluring vocals into the crowd and singing the lyrics “let your mind go” commanded everyone into a state of pure musical bliss. Laying back on the grass and looking up into the night sky, “The High Road” and “Vaporize” were two other tracks that stood out in the indie rock group’s wonderful set.
Highly anticipating OutKast’s headlining set for the night, I was eager to decide for myself whether or not they still had it. One of the downsides to hitting up the festival’s second weekend is all of the criticism and expectations that come up after groups have their first set of shows. After hearing mixed reviews about OutKast’s performance the previous weekend, it was clear that those people were either missing what I saw, or the group stepped it up for this performance. They definitely catered to their more old school fans, focusing on a heavily rap based performance, not going into their more mainstream hits till later on in the show. Everyone was thrilled when they started to play “Hey Ya” and everyone was up shakin’ like a polaroid picture throughout the song. As my friend’s and I maneuvered through the crowd to get going, the opening piano chords to “Roses” made us stop, laugh and sing along through the chorus and our first day was closed on a solid note.
Saturday’s sun was burning bright and Bear Hands was first on my schedule. The Mojave tent was a good place to start the day with some shade and great music. The New York band had a decent crowd for such an early set time, and it was clear why. Their indie rock sound and punk vocals give an interesting balance with some electronic notes and I’m hoping to see them back in a few years at one of the main stages.
I was most excited for the next band on my list, Foxygen, who was performing at the Outdoor Stage. Their recorded sounds encompass major 60s vibes with some electric twists, powerful vocals slightly reminiscent of Mick Jagger, and a psychedelic sound that keeps me listening to more and more of their songs. However, their performance wasn’t quite the same. Lead singer Sam France seemed to be channeling some sort of Iggy Pop persona prancing around the stage half dressed in golden leather pants and stopping to talk in between tracks, making a bit of a fool of himself. The stage was full of energy with three dancers (who were poorly synchronized) moving to the sounds of “On Blue Mountain” and “Waitin’ 4 U” and while the Los Angeles duo was definitely trying to leave a lasting impression on the audience, their image detracted from their music. I’m hoping it was the heat of the day, or the hype of Coachella, that got to them because I still caught glimpses of their talent and creativity and hope the next time I see them they’ll have the kinks worked out.
Another band I was really looking forward to was Temples, and this crew didn’t disappoint. Back at Mojave tent, the crowd spilled out of the white top and everyone was really feeling the Britpop vibes and dream-like sounds of this psychedelic English band. Their live performance was even better than their recorded tracks and “Keep In The Dark” was definitely my favorite from their set list. With the steady drumming and aaaah-ing vocals, everyone stomped and shook along with this new band. It was hard to believe they just formed in 2012 and I am definitely looking forward to more album releases and shows to come from this highly praised band as they get a few more years under their belt.
Ty Segall, Warpaint, The Head and the Heart, MGMT, Foster the People and the Pixies kept me busy the rest of the day and each act kept getting better and better.
Ty Segall and The Head and the Heart rocked the Outdoor Stage. Segall showcased his own singing and songwriting skills as well as covering some classic rock hits like Bad Company’s “Feel Like Makin’ Love” at the end of his set. He has an impressively developed sound for such a young artist and has a really soulful and classic rock sound to his 26 year old voice.
Things mellowed out a couple hours later with The Head and the Heart as the band filled the golden skies with their airy folk-rock music. There is such a sweet sound that comes from bands that showcase both male and female vocals. This Seattle band definitely has that figured out and does a great job of harmonizing and balancing softer sounds with a powerful follow up, crafting a really mellow and beautiful performance.
Back at the main stage, MGMT drew a huge crowd of people looking forward to their electric feel. The band had an incredible visual show to go along with their charged performance. Lead singer Andrew VanWyngarden sported a GoPro capturing on stage antics as well as glimpses of the crowd that were projected onto the side lining screens in distorted filters and colorful frames. As the sun set and the sky grew darker, the bright colors of the hallucinatory lights grew more and more vivid and the audience got louder and louder, singing along to “Kids”, “Time to Pretend” and of course, “Electric Feel.”
Another band that killed it with their light show was the indie-pop band Foster the People. Rays of electric green lights flooded the sky and the pulsing lights and music could be seen and heard throughout the festival. Fresh off the release of their second album, Supermodel, the band was excited to bust out some of their new hits but still covered a decent amount of their debut album Torches in the first part of their act before I left. As expected, everyone was up on his or her feet and singing along to the band’s biggest hit “Pumped up Kicks”, but my favorite was “Call It What You Want” that blasted from the stage as I headed over to Pixies. Black Francis is still killing it after all these years and gave a crowd pleasing and charged performance of “Wave of Mutilation” to the overflowing audience crowded around the Mojave tent. The band rounded out their set with a slowed down take of their hit “Where is My Mind?” that was a little awkward for people singing along. It is always important to artists to keep reinventing some of their greatest hits during live performances and deliver what the fans want on their own standards but this version could have been better by sticking with the original arrangement.
Saturday night definitely saw the largest crowd for the festival and with a sea of gridlocked music fans, a while till the later headlining acts, and full day on Sunday, I headed out of the festival early that night catching glimpses of Sleigh Bells and Queens of the Stone Age on my way out. Friends had nothing but good things to say about Pharrell’s performance at the Outdoor Stage and the captivating light show and dancing at Sahara tent for Skrillex later that night.
Day three came up way too fast and despite my dust caked lungs and tired feet I was geared up and ready for the final day’s artists. Flight Facilities, Neutral Milk Hotel, Little Dragon, Lana Del Rey, Beck and Arcade Fire and a ride on the ferris wheel filled up Easter Sunday and brought the festival to an amazing close.
Jeff Mangum, lead singer of the indie-rock band Neutral Milk Hotel, kept to his priorities of a raw and live musical performance and shut the side screens of for the band’s show. Wanting people to focus on the music and enjoy it in the moment is something important to Mangum and while he still partakes in the large scale and widely popular festivals he does so on his terms. The band’s heavy lyrical content and material is balanced out by their folksy rhythm and calming rock sounds and NMH fans were definitely pleased by this Sunday evening performance at the Outdoor Stage.
Catering to a very different sound is the electric and synthetic pop band from Sweden, Little Dragon, who played at Mojave tent. After having seen them perform a few times in the past, I was pretty excited for their unique pop instrumentals and lead singer Yukimi Negano’s absolutely enchanting voice, but was slightly disappointed by this performance. It could have been the overflowing crowd or overly loud amplification of the electric-pop sounds, but something seemed muddled at this performance for a group that’s usually super spot on.
After hearing pretty horrible reviews of her performance last weekend, and knowing her reputation for lousy live shows, I was pleasantly surprised when Lana del Rey took the Outdoor Stage. The beautiful singer continued to profess her appreciation for her fans and while that sort of detracted from her stage presence, everyone’s favorite “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans” were comparable to her successful recorded versions.
Main Stage was the place to be the rest of the night and I was so stoked on Beck’s performance. When I saw him at Outside Lands a couple summers ago, his voice and stage presence were totally lost in such a large venue. However, his performance Sunday night was one of my favorites from the weekend. Mixing in his top hits (“Where Its At” and “Debra”) and covering other artists from Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”, The Black Keys and even sampling some of the upcoming artist Arcade Fire, Beck gave an awesome show, keeping people dancing even after three very tiring days.
The grand finale for the night was Canadian band Arcade Fire, who has headlined the festival in the past. They started off with a lot of energy and excitedly announced that they wanted to bring out some guests. The joke was on us as everyone cheered for whom they thought was Daft Punk (often rumored to be the surprise guest at many shows) taking the stage with the indie-rockers as “Get Lucky” started to play. Despite the hoax, the band gave a great performance and was a great end to an amazing weekend.
Many of the bands that took the stage the past couple of weekends are keeping up with lots of following tour dates and making appearances at upcoming festivals (such as Shaky Knees Festival in Atlanta this May, Sasquatch in Washington, Chicago’s Lollapalooza and Outside Lands this august in San Francisco.) So in case you missed out on the desert festivities, there are plenty of chances to get some stage time with your favorites. Till next year, Coachella! Thank you for another amazing weekend!
Still Runnin’ Down a Dream—Tom Petty set to headline San Francisco’s 7th annual Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival.
Even at the age of 63, this American rocker isn’t slowing down one bit. After securing a headlining spot at one of the US’s top music festivals, it’s clear to see this legend isn’t going anywhere as he continues to hold his own amongst much younger, trending bands.
Tom Petty has been touring strong with his band, The Heartbreakers, since the late 70’s and the classic rock group hasn’t lost any of their passion or fan base. Petty’s love of music is as strong as it was when he was a child, he says “it keeps me young, it keeps me feeling like I have some purpose.” And that purpose was clear to him at a young age.
At the age of 14, Petty started his first band and later dropped out of school to join Mudcrutch at the age of 17. While this was a bold and risky move, Petty was passionate about pursuing his music and got with a group that stuck. Mudcrutch members Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench would evolve into The Heartbreakers, Petty’s most well known band that is still thriving today.
While Petty has seen major success with all of his musical endeavors, including his other bands The Traveling Wilburys (founded with his idols and friends George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan and Jeff Lynne) and Mudcrutch, and his collaborations with artists such as Stevie Nicks and The Grateful Dead, The Heartbreakers are still reigning in their rock and roll glory.
Encompassing southern rock, soulful blues, powerful instrumentals and a uniquely strained and gritty voice, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers were, and continue to be, among one of the best American Rock bands. Having been nominated for several Grammys including “Best Rock Song”, “Best Rock Album” awards with the band, and having won the Grammy for “Best Music Video,” “Best Male Vocal Performance” and MTV’s “Best Male Video” awards, the band has had major success and Petty has won several “Legend” “Century Honoree” and “Best Male Vocals” awards as well.
His record success surpassing 80 million records sold worldwide is matched by his concert sell outs, and with the growing increase and popularity of music festivals, Petty has garnered the attention of the best of them. Petty has done an incredible job staying loyal to his original fan base and keeping up with younger generations with his never fading energy and old rock charisma. As Stephen Thomas Erlewine, music journalist and senior editor for ALLMUSIC explains in his biography on Petty, Petty’s “willingness to experiment with the boundaries of classic rock & roll helped Petty sustain his popularity well into the ’90s,” and his ability to adapt to current music trends, such as the growing popularity of festivals, continues to keep Petty in the limelight.
Recently, Petty has hit the festival circuit, headlining at last year’s Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee, the Hangout Festival in Alabama, and has just been announced to headline Outside Lands this August. It is so refreshing to see such an accomplished and talented artists still pulling rank with the ever growing festival music scenes that often showcase trending artists, leaving behind some of the greatest rockers that are still around and love what they’re doing.
On reflecting about last years festival performance and the mixed crowd of fans, Petty told Rolling Stone that "that’s really the fun of playing a festival like that: you’re playing to lots of hardcore fans, but you’re also playing to people that have never seen you before…It’s great to play to so many young people that you know couldn’t have even been born when we started out. They were just a wonderful audience." Having been in that audience last summer, this music lover can say that Petty won over new, younger fans and kept a fire burning for die hard Heartbreaker fans alike. His excitement and energy likely sparked this upcoming headlining spot and San Francisco will be in for a real treat this summer when Petty takes the stage among other headlining acts The Killers and Kanye West.
The Coachella 2014 countdown is coming to a close!
With weekend one (April 11-13) just a couple of weeks away and weekend two following April 18-20th, the weekend of fun, friends, good times and of course good music, we have all been waiting for is almost here. With all of the festival fashion tips and camping tricks, the main event seems to take a bit of a back seat. Of course, we all know the headliners and have our favorites we are going to see, but there are so many hidden gems breaking through the music scene at this legendary fest. With that said, here are some my new favorite artists to check out. They will all be taking the heat to take the stage, and I couldn’t be more excited!
Bombay Bicycle Club (Saturday)
The English indie rock band’s range of sounds is unreal. They hit the house music spectrum with building rhythm and beats leaving you dancing in a completely happy and captivated state in tracks like “Lights Out, World Gone” and have a slower and softer side where lead vocalist Jack Steadman takes a more mellow approach like in “Flaws.”
Hailing from Niger, Omara Mactar, known as Bombino, has a completely unique take on the blues and rock music he puts out. His booming vocals strike a powerful chord with listeners and the unique instrumentals fuse his Nigerian culture in his music.
Jonathan Rado and Sam France make up the duo that is the psychedelic, american indie rock band Foxygen. I’ve got to say i am most excited to see these two. They strike a major throwback vibe sounding a bit Velvet Underground, slightly Rolling Stones, and totally awesome. “Blue Mountain”, “No Destruction” and “Make it Known” have hit my playlists on repeat, I can’t get enough of them!
This alternative musical group from Sweden is classified as an experimental fusion group. One of their most popular tracks “Run to Your Mama” totally shows off this band’s rad tribal sound. The percussions are on point and the alluring female vocals add a cool contrast to the intense instrumentals.
J. Roddy Walston & The Business (Sunday)
I can tell this is going to be a really fun show. The American rock band comes from Tennessee and is known for putting on a really energetic performance. Solid guitar playing and drums back up the passionately loud vocals of frontman J Roddy Walston but the unexpected piano gives the classic rock and roll sound a little more of a jazzy feel like in their track “Don’t Break The Needle” which still leads in to their signature sound you can hear in “Heavy Bells”.
These guys are rad. The four English rockers have only been playing together since 2012 but in those two short years they have garnered a lot of well deserved praise. Temples cultivate a psychedelic sound in their tunes and the added use of keyboards really completes their music. They sound a bit like Tame Impala which hit the festival circuit last season but have their own grit and less electronic sounding vocals.
The Preatures (Friday)
All the way from Sydney, Australia, this five piece band hits a real soulful sound slightly reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac that you can hear in their track “Revelation”. Yet the band updates their sound with some electronic tones in other songs. The female vocals fronted by Gideon Bensen give this band a unique element of lightness that works really well with the soft rhythmic instrumentals, such as in their EP and SIngle “Is This How You Feel?”.
Another band with a female lead vocalist (and band) is the Los Angeles group Warpaint. They have a really rich sound that comes from the layered instrumentals and background vocals put together in this group of four. While the current crew is only ladies, you can definitely hear the influence of Former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante who helped them arrange their EP. The opening guitar riff of “Keep It Healthy” really combines that building guitar sound and their enchanting voices to showcase the groups special sound.
I had never heard of this Mexican band but am so glad Coachella is bringing this highly accomplished, Grammy winning group to the festival. Zoé is an alternative psychedelic band fusing entrancing instrumentals with Spanish vocals and lyrics blend for a really unique and cool sound.
playlist of all the artist I am looking forward to:
Lord Huron plays San Diego tomorrow night Feb. 27 at The Belly Up in Solana Beach.
I fell in love with Los Angeles band Lord Huron last year after hearing them on Pandora. I was captivated by the romantic lyrics, enchanting vocals and harmonies and unique instrumentals. After seeing them in concert a few times this past year and during the summer, the magic of their music continued to grow. I was lucky enough to see them at Bonnaroo last June at their main performance and later on the private Sonic Stage. It was a surreal experience seeing the band perform so close up and getting to meet the band members. Getting a close up look at how they make their captivating sound possible made me love the band all the more. They are constantly smiling, laughing and genuinely enjoying their performance as much as the audience. The wonderful sounds of rain forests and chimes, growing beats and powerful percussions created on their album are even more intrinsic in person. The guys have such an energetic passion about them. They are a real treat to see live. They will be playing in San Diego at Solana Beach at the Belly Up Tavern tomorrow night. It already sold out but for those of you who are lucky enough to have scored a ticket, you’re in for a great night of music and dancing!
Whole Lotta Love…Songs
Celebrate today with some of my favorite tunes to get you in the loving mood:
”All My Love” ~ Led Zeppelin
"For Your Love" ~ The Yardbirds
"Funnel of Love" ~ Wanda Jackson or Terraplane Sun
'Hello, I Love You” ~ The Doors
"I Found Love" ~ Quicksilver Messenger Service
"I Love You" ~ The Zombies
"Love is All Around" ~ The Troggs
"Love Like This" ~ Wild Belle
"Love Lost" ~ The Temper Trap
"Love Me Foolishly" ~ Phosphorescent
"Love Me Through" ~ Port O’Brien
"Lovers in Love" ~ Portugal. The Man
"Lover’s Spit" ~ Broken Social Scene
"Sea of Love" ~ Phil Phillips
"Skinny Love" ~ Bon Iver
"You’ve Got the Love" ~ Florence and The Machine
"Don’t Cry My Lady Love" ~ Quicksilver Messenger Service
The list goes on…
Soul Love ~ David Bowie
Stone love - she kneels before the grave
A brave son - who gave his life to see the slogan
That hovers between the headstone and her eyes
For they penetrate her grieving
New love - a boy and girl are talking
New words - that only they can share in
New words - a love so strong it tears their hearts
To sleep - through the fleeting hours of morning
Love is careless in it’s choosing - sweeping over ‘cross a baby
Love descends on those defenseless
Idiot love will spark the fusion
Inspirations have I none - just to touch the flaming dove
All I have is my love of love - and love is not loving
Soul love - the priest that tastes the word and
Told of love - and how my God on high is
All love - though reaching up my loneliness evolves
By the blindness that surrounds him
Love is careless in it’s choosing - sweeping over ‘cross a baby
Love descends on those defenseless
Idiot love will spark the fusion
Inspirations have I none - just to touch the flaming dove
All I have is my love of love - and love is not loving
Happy Valentine’s Day…here’s to a love of love